Back Taxes Scam

The Michigan Department of Treasury is asking residents to be aware of a scam that is targeting people who owe back taxes to the State of Michigan. The potential victims receive letters by mail that look official but are in fact, fake. The letters instruct taxpayers to call a toll-free number to resolve the debt and aggressively threaten to seize assets if the debt is not paid. 

Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good asks taxpayers to contact the state directly to discuss options and to be aware of their rights. Information about unpaid taxes is available to the public, so it is not difficult for scammers to obtain accurate information. The criminal intent is to get people to pay the scammers instead of the state. If they do so, the taxes will still be owed to the state. If you do owe back taxes or another tax debt to the state, officials will contact you through the mail with options to resolve the debt as well as informing you of your rights as a taxpayer. A red flag for the fake letters is a threat to seize your property or garnish your Social Security benefits. If you suspect a fake letter, the real number to the Michigan Department of Treasury Collections Service Center is 517-636-5265.

Reporting for WGRT, Karly Hurley.